Ricoh is to release an eight-million-pixel digital compact called the Caplio 500G Wide – due to land on the UK high street in around six weeks priced £379.

The 500G sports a lens delivering the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 28-85mm zoom.

Designed for the outdoors, it also features water, dust and shock resistance capabilities ? Ricoh claims it is water resistant to a depth of 1m and can withstand falls of 1m (tested on 26 different surfaces).

The 8.13MP model also features large buttons, intended to be easy to operate even with gloves on, according to Ricoh.

The 500G houses a 2.5in LCD screen and a flash which is claimed to have an effective range of 10m at the wideangle end ? double that of previous models.

Features also include manual focus, spotmetering, an ISO range of ISO 64-ISO 1600 and claimed macro focusing down to 1cm.

Also on board is exposure compensation of ±2EV is 1/3 stop steps, as well as exposure and white balance bracketing.

The 400g model can be powered by AA batteries or rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is compatible with SD memory card storage.

The newcomer will succeed the Caplio 400G which was announced in 2004.

For details call Ricoh UK on 020 8261 4031.